The Incontiguous Brick

June 7, 2007

The new economics of death

Filed under: Money,Our World — iknowkeith @ 11:35 am

New research has established a price tag on death. Economists say balancing the pain of loss with the right amount of money could lead to more rational court awards. – Scientific

Monetary awards are typically given to ease suffering but with little guidance to jurors on how much is appropriate for the survivors. In an embarrassingly American mindset, this study is based on how much money it would take to make someone happy after experiencing a loss.

The goal is to provide juries a guideline for assigning damages after a death.
Under these guidelines, this is how much money will make you happy again:

    Spouse = $220,000
    Sibling = $2,000
    Child = $180,000
    Friend = $16,000

The intent might be noble (just awards, etc.) but the fallout could be disastrous. If this becomes a norm for assigning damages, it could lead to significant hiring discrimination. In any of the more dangerous professions is becomes economically efficient to hire only single people with few friends. I guess hiring someone with many siblings would be okay, but the loner types are the ones that a company can afford to pay damages in case of a loss.

Ironically, most of the loner friendless unmarried geeks are computer programmers – generally considered a safe profession.



  1. $2000 for a sibling? That’s definitely too low. I’d charge at least $3000.

    Comment by Dennis Peterson — June 7, 2007 @ 12:46 pm | Reply

  2. Some people would PAY $2000 to get rid of a sibling.

    Comment by iknowkeith — June 7, 2007 @ 1:36 pm | Reply

  3. Hah.

    And then there are those that would get the siblings kids, then spend their inheritance on cheap wine, a double wide, and a moomoo.

    Better work on the *baked lays* plan a bit harder to increase your life expectancy. I’ve got my eye on you.

    Narf 🙂

    Comment by Poem — June 7, 2007 @ 9:17 pm | Reply

  4. I always thought you were the moomoo type.

    Comment by iknowkeith — June 7, 2007 @ 10:43 pm | Reply

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